I Remember, part 2.

favourites30. I remember The Swingin’ Blue Jeans and Hippy Hippy Shake.

31.  I remember having an argument with a friend of my parents about Perfect Day by Lou Reed. He said it was too simple a song to be interesting.

32.  I remember trying to get into the Lyceum Theate in London to see King Sunny Adé but giving up amidst a huge chaotic crowd who, like me, were ticketless.

33.  I remember enjoying The Last Waltz, the film by Martin Scorsese about The Band, so much that I said to a friend, ’I didn’t even mind Neil Diamond’. She said, ’Well…I’m not sure I would go that far…’

34.  I remember that, quite recently, I got Neville Cardus confused with Cornelius Cardew and claimed that the latter wrote about cricket as well as composing music.

35.  I remember seeing Led Zeppelin in the Caird Hall in Dundee. 9 years later I was presented with my university degree on the same stage.

36.  I remember going to see the Edgar Broughton Band at the Kinema Ballroom in Dunfermline. If I remember correctly, Edgar Broughton’s mother was on stage for the duration of the performance. I saw Atomic Rooster there too…the amplifiers blew and there was a very long drum solo.

37.  I remember when I bought my first portable cassette player (pre-Walkman) thinking how interesting it would be listening to the music of my choice in different places. Especially away from other people in remote spots.

38.  I remember going to an electronic music concert in the cloister of Santa Maria della Pace in Rome. Speakers were set up between columns so that the sound enclosed the space. Bats flew back and forth silhouetted against the evening sky throughout the concert.

39.  I remember I had tickets to see Wings in Edinburgh and at the last moment decided not to go so I sold my tickets at the door. Years later I missed being introduced to Paul McCartney by minutes at an exhibition I was working on.

40.  I remember the second hand record shops in the arcade in Kirkcaldy but can’t remember what either of them was called. There was a bowling alley at the end of the arcade which has now been knocked down so the arcade now just opens out into a housing development.

41.  I remember going to Raven Records on Fulham Road and watching the whole of the video of Thriller there during my lunchtime. I can remember the name of the shop because it had a large raven-shaped cut out in vinyl on the window.

42.  I remember Skeets Boliver and The Dogs of Peddie Street.

43.  I remember being briefly obsessed with Golden Lady by Stevie Wonder.

44.  I remember cycling around a roundabout in Dalgety Bay, Fife, 100 times singing Cream’s Badge.

45.  I remember Bow Gamelan.

46.  I remember when I played my father Bob Dylan’s Christmas in the Heart he was horrified. With some justification.

47.  I remember I saw Lohengrin at La Scala in Milan and at one point found myself absentmindedly counting the number of people on stage.

48.  I remember when my daughter spent a few nights at a Cambridge college when she was a teenager and she found it hard to sleep because it was too quiet.

49.  I remember attending a concert where 4’33” was performed and the person behind me got a fit of the giggles. As if she hadn’t seen that coming.

50.  I remember an audio puzzle on the radio in Montreal. It was the sound of coins dropping into a cup and the point was to guess the song that this sound referred to. People were always calling in saying it was Three Coins in a Fountain. It wasn’t but I don’t know what the correct answer was.

51.  I remember seeing Cathy Berberian at the Bloomsbury Theatre in the early 1980s. I can’t remember which programme she performed but maybe it was ‘From Salon to Saloon’. I saw Ivor Cutler and Keith Tippet at the same venue.

52.  I remember hearing After Bathing at Baxter’s by Jefferson Airplane round at the Duchesnes’ house in 1968 in Westfield, New Brunswick but I don’t remember ever hearing it again.

53.  In the same year, when our family moved back to Scotland, I remember listening to John Peel’s Top Gear programme on the radio in the dark. We were staying with my grandmother in Glasgow. When I bought Hurdy Gurdy Man by Donovan she pointed out that there was no hurdy gurdy being played on the record. Furthermore, she said, Hurdy Gurdy men did not sing.

54.  I remember when I worked in an architect’s office in Edinburgh my colleague was trying to find the name of a piece of music that had been used briefly on a BBC television programme. On more than one occasion he phoned the BBC and hummed the music to anyone who would listen and might know what it was. After some weeks he found out it was Chi Mai by Ennio Morricone – a rather sparse arrangement that does not suit humming.

55.  I remember sitting in the atrium of the Lubbock Holiday Inn trying to explain to a group of skeptical, if not dimissive, Texans why Our House by Madness was so good. I had my photograph taken standing next to the Buddy Holly statue in the same town.

56.  I remember the first time I became aware of a skylark. But then maybe I don’t. It was in the late 1980s on a hillside…possibly in Oxfordshire. We walked up the hill to an old pilgrim’s way or a drover’s road. The skylark was singing its continuous trilling song on the way up. At the top there was a copse with a Bronze Age burial site or an Iron Age barrow in the middle. Obviously, I am not sure of any of the details but whenever I hear a skylark now I can see the copse in my mind’s eye.

57.  I remember when we went to see the sunrise at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley the air was filled with the sound of electronic clicks and bleeps as photograph after photograph was taken of the slowly changing landscape.

58.  I remember on the day after the General Election in 1992 I went to the Covent Garden Rough Trade shop in search of, I suppose, some solace. There was a Nancy Sinatra record playing which I bought. Sugar Town from this album became one of the songs that I put on my two-year old daughter’s mix-tape. One day I must ask her just how scarred she was by this.

(to be continued…)

5 thoughts on “I Remember, part 2.

  1. I wish I had the answer to number 50, but I don’t. Lucky escape w Macca. Could that be Wittenham Clumps with the lark?

  2. After Bathing at Baxters? That was the third LP I bought (after Electric Ladyland and the Easy Rider Soundtrack), you must have heard it once or twice in my skanky room after the Canadian experience. No?

    • Caught out!…yes I must have. One thing about this I Remember technique is that I discover how little I remember. However I do recall listening to The Gift three times in a row in your room. First both channels, then the vocal channel and then the instrumental channel…I think I have your copy of the album still – acquired legitimately I hasten to add.

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